You can pretty much guarantee that all the places we recommend hit a certain standard; hosts are friendly, beds are comfy, linen is lovely and by and large rooms are cobweb-free. Each B&B has a special something that marks it out. In the case of Mallard Grange, it’s all the above plus two things, and they come together in a way that will make you want to become a regular. Maggie Johnson is one of the sunniest people on the planet, and she produces an unforgettable breakfast!
It’s a working farm with a handsome 16th century farmhouse full of family ephemera and creaking floors, so don’t expect boutique chic. But it’s not dated – a couple of the bedrooms are contemporary but I like the traditional décor in the fabulously comfortable main house room with its monster bed, sink-into chairs and old-style bath big enough to swim lengths in.
But to the breakfast: taken in the elegant dining room, you’ll find yourself sitting next to strangers round the huge maple table, and if this thought appalls you, don’t fret. Maggie’s one of those people who can make a loaf of bread whilst knitting conversations seamlessly; she’s a facilitator in the best possible way. But if you find you’ve nothing to say to the retired surveyor from Surrey you can talk about the food. Whitby kippers, kedgeree made with Nidderdale trout, bacon and sausages from their own animals and eggs from ‘the girls’. Maggie makes muffins every morning and they’re to be eaten warm with lashings of butter and home made jam. By the time you’ve polished this lot off you’ll have found something in common with the most unlikely co-diners.
How much? £35 – £45 pppn
Kids stuff? Over 12’s
Well Placed? You’re a stone’s throw from Ripon and the National Trust’s Fountains Abbey is a mile up the road
Good grub? Lockwoods in Ripon is fabulous diner, or go for broke with The Old Deanery.
Aldfield, Fountains Abbey, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 3BETel 01765 620242
Part of Stay North Yorkshire
Review by Mandy, 30 January 2012blog comments powered by Disqus